It’s still all quiet on the film front as studios transition from the blockbuster days of summer to the Oscar-hopefuls of the fall. As far as new releases go this weekend, the line-up is headed by a featured drama with an all star cast and the re-release of a Hollywood classic.
The Warner Bros. (NYSE:TWX) crime thriller Prisoners is a critically acclaimed drama and the first film to be on the lookout for if you’re going to the theaters this weekend. Directed by Denis Villeneuve (Incendies) and executive produced by Mark Wahlberg, Prisoners tells the story of two families thrown into chaos after their daughters are kidnapped on Thanksgiving. The film stars Hugh Jackman, Jake Gyllenhaal, Meliisa Leo, and Terrence Howard. Critical reception for Prisoners has been mostly positive so far. David Denby of New Yorker wrote, “A somberly impressive thriller in the style of Mystic River and Zodiac,” while Scott Foundas of Variety called it, “A spellbinding, sensationally effective thriller with a complex moral center.”
However, some critics viewed the film as obvious Oscar-bait that didn’t ultimately amount to much. Amy Nicholson of L.A. Weekly wrote, “Prisoners is a dog whistle for Academy voters keyed to a pitch that screams, ‘For the love of God, nominate me for something!’” and awarded the film a score of C. Andrew O’Hehir of Salon agreed with the film’s comparisons to the work of David Fincher, but ultimately felt it took away from the film. “It’s the imitation-David Fincher pretentiousness that gets on my nerves,” O’Hehir explained.